Student Registration Policies

Student Registration Policies

PhD Students

The University of Chicago's student registration system is used to register students, to set tuition rates, and to determine eligibility for University services. To learn what University services are available for the different graduate registration statuses (student loan eligibility and deferments, visas for international students, technical support, health insurance, housing), refer to the Student Manual of University Policies and Regulations.

The student registration system requires that students register continuously until taking the final degree. Humanities doctoral students are required to register each autumn, winter, and spring quarter until they graduate or withdraw. The policy applies regardless of completion of program requirements (i.e., coursework, languages, exams) and regardless of geographical residence. Doctoral students should register for summer quarter only under the following circumstances:

  • Taking courses
  • Receiving student loan aid (summer registration is not required for work-study eligibility)
  • Required to register for fellowship eligibility
  • Are applying for their doctoral degree

Students are expected to remain in good standing throughout their program. They are expected to reach candidacy in year 3 or 4 and complete the dissertation 2 to 3 years after reaching candidacy. Note that individual departments have additional requirements relating to time to degree that students must adhere to during the course of their program. Students who have not reached candidacy by the start of year 6 will be administratively withdrawn from their program. The university will also administratively withdraw students who reach the university’s registration limit. Students who have been admitted to candidacy by the end of their registration limit, however, may still be allowed to defend their dissertation and graduate with their department’s permission. 

Master's Students

The master’s programs in the Division of the Humanities require a set number of courses and a master’s project. The Master of Arts Program in Digital Studies of Language, Culture, and HIstory requires completing eleven courses, the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) requires completing nine courses, and the MAPH Two-Year Language Option (MAPH-TLO), the Master of Arts program in Middle Eastern Studies, and the Master of Fine Arts program in the Department of Visual Arts (DOVA) require completing eighteen courses. Students may not take more than the required number of courses while registered as a student in these master’s level programs. Students are expected to register in each quarter of the academic year; autumn, winter, and spring quarter.

Extended Status and Five Year Degree Limit
Students in master’s programs who have not graduated at the end of their final quarter of registration and who are working to finish incomplete course work and/or the thesis may request to be registered in extended status. Extended status carries no tuition charges and confers no privileges such as registering for courses, borrowing money, deferring loans, access to health insurance or the Student Health and Counseling Service.  Students in extended status are eligible to access the libraries on campus and borrowing privileges may be purchased for a quarterly fee. Students in extended status are still beholden to the University policies as it relates to registration holds and clearance of those holds. If holds are not cleared, students in extended status, can still be administratively placed on leave and/or withdrawn. Please note: Students in extended status must petition to complete their thesis and/or other degree requirements, subject to the approval of the director of the master’s program. The Division will not consider petitions more than five years beyond matriculation. After the five-year limit, the student is not allowed to register for further coursework or finish any incomplete course. The withdrawal from the program becomes permanent, and the student would need to re-apply to the program. Part-time students are held to the same five-year deadline. 

Contact Us

Office of the Dean of Students